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Your Take: Is it the end of the world as we know it?
Some Christians believe Judgment Day is just around the corner. Their job is to warn the people.
March 8th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Your Take: Is it the end of the world as we know it?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Note to self: When writing about the End, expect no end of comments.

On Sunday we published “Road trip to the end of the world,” about a group that’s traveling by RV to spread a May 21 doomsday warning. You’ve posted about 10,000 comments on the story. And that doesn’t touch your responses to a sidebar, in which we took you on a historical journey called “Doomsdays throughout time.”

There’s no way to condense the opinions of all of you who expressed them, but here are some of the themes that seemed to emerge.

Doom and gloom has never been so fun

Plenty of you responded with humor, grateful for the news that will let you max out credit cards, avoid summer lawn mowing and forget about studying for final exams.

Some bemoaned the fact that plans you'd looked forward to would be canceled, like JohnDoee who said:

I just booked a vacation to Mexico starting May 21st. Wonder if my trip insurance covers end of the world.

Others invoked a certain headline-grabbing celeb, saying you’d put his antics to shame. Said GQPulbic:

If I knew with absolute certainly the world was ending in three months I would make Charlie Sheen look like a choir boy. Nothing would be off limits.

Still others decided to use the space as a virtual Craigslist of sorts, a venue to snag belongings that have been left behind. Wrote PL90210:

My wife and I are looking for a swingset for our daughter. If any of you have a swingset and feel your family has more important things to do between now and May 21st and wouldn't mind us having it, could you reply back and we can set something up?

No laughing matter

What you read also worried you. You expressed concerns about potential violence and mass suicide, and some even worried that these faithful RV travelers might be “terrorists.” Said Buddesatva:

These folks are mentally unbalanced. The kindest thing that we can do for them is get all of them into a program and I would stongly advise taking the children away. This thing smacks of a suicide cult. Whenever people start talking in superlatives and absolutes, you know that you have a psychosis in the works. The state needs to intervene now before people, specifically children end up getting hurt.

More than anything, those expressing such concern pointed to children who are not only being exposed to these teachings but are actually out there spreading the word, too. We introduced you to one young girl, Arianna, and learning about her got SpaceyG, who quoted part of the story, going:

Not harming innocent people in this, eh? 'It scares me a little bit because some people are going to die, and I think I'm one of them,' she adds. 'I'm trying to do good things, but I'm afraid I'm doing something bad.' Arianna is 7, after all, and being good all the time cannot be easy. Her father stands next to her, nodding his approval. Bless her frightened little heart. I hope she finds a good lawyer on May 22 to sue for punitive emotional damages.

To believe or not to believe

The story drew in many believers, though your beliefs differ, as well as those of you who dismiss religion altogether.

Summing up his (or her) anger was the aptly named AngryAtheist:

All religions are a disease. There's no way we can advance as a people when we all believe in gods that do absolutely nothing to prove an existence. You're taught from an early age when your parents forced you to go to church to learn fairy tales. Open your sheep minds… That fairy tale book called the bible was written by those in power to keep the power, to control the masses, and to gain wealth. There isn't a god, nor was there ever one.

But these sort of responses had plenty of faithful readers fighting back. Some voiced that you, too, believe the end is near, but unlike this group of travelers you refuse to nail down a date. Hundreds threw out scripture, reminding us that “No man will know the day or hour,” and that Jesus will return “like a thief in the night.” Said SBack89: 

Jesus actually states in the Bible, 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. But about the day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.' (Matthew 24:35-36). So as Christ says, He has not even been told by His Father in heaven as to when exactly the world will end. So this group of people are going directly against the Bible, the true word of God.

What’s next?

Countless readers wondered what these doomsday travelers will do when they wake up on May 22 and nothing has changed.

Chilcat: "I Reeeeealy hope CNN will do a story on the poor deluded folks on May 22nd." In a quick response, we heard from Wzrd1: "One can wish. But, given CNN's attention span, or lack thereof, they won't. : ( "

Oh, Wzrd1, ye of little faith ...

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Belief • Bible

soundoff (1,121 Responses)
  1. larrywi

    The world as I knew it ended a long time ago!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  2. lolita

    OH GOD NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. BON JOVI WILL BE ON CONCERT ON MAY 21st please can u wait one more day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • ChuckNorris

      I will chucknorris the apocalypse back to the abyss.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  3. Dan

    Hopefully these folks are from Westboro Church and they really are gone on 5.21!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  4. David M

    If you read the Bible, you will see that it clearly says we don't know when it will end. Only God Himself knows. These people are going to feel, and look, really foolish on May 22nd. Look for the homeless population to increase a bit.

    These folks are not the first ones to predict the end date. And like all the others, they will prove to be wrong.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  5. chris

    I think this is based on Harold Kamping's radio show and prediction. He predicted a rapture in the 80's. If I remember correctly he gave the date of May 21, 1984. When asked about it he says the calculations are complicated. If people quit their jobs that is really sad.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  6. Katherine

    I'm a Christian, but I believe that when the Lord decides to come we will know it then. No one can predict the coming of the Lord, all we do is be prepared for him.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  7. Avenir

    @ CW and Luke.

    I consider myself a Christian and have believed for many years... but you two are making the rest of us look reaaaaaaaly bad. Please be quiet before you turn more people into non believers.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  8. Steve in St. Louis

    To all who believe the world will end on May 21: I invite you to sign a contract with me, wherein you agree to give me your car and all other possessions effective May 22. I'll be glad to hear from anyone who has the confidence to back up his/her prediction. Thanks.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  9. Teaneck

    No man knows the day nor the time. Read the Bible. This guy predicting Mary 21st is a false prophet.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • rorbadfo

      Spot on! Sounds like Matt 7:15 is coming true!

      March 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Unbeliever

      The bible itself is completely false.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  10. bob

    the bible says that judgement day will follow 1000 years of peace. We are a loooong way from that happening.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  11. phoenix

    these aren t really humans the way God created them more like an offshoot darwinian race that act on emotions and fears. as a fundamentalist christian . they are just taking up space procreating ,gambling and going to work. might as well get rid of them they are so miserable they have no idea what christ did for them.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  12. Mike

    Any person or group of persons proclaiming to know when the end will come are:
    a. Not members of any christian, mainstream religious group
    b. Ignorant of the contents of the bible
    c. On some kind of mind altering drugs
    The bible tells us that no one knows the day or the hour. Of course, these modern day prophets of doom are fulfilling bible prophecy by proclaiming to know when the end will come. These are the false prophets the bible speaks of, and anyone who knows their bible should know better, and the media should know better than to give them any credence at all by reporting about them.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Sirena

      Jesus said he would return before everyone who was alive when he rose, died.
      Therefore he was wrong and a false prophet too right?

      March 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Todd

      They aren't false prophets. They are con-artists, nothing more and nothing less. Just like L Ron Hubbard, Jospeh Smith, etc. They are con-artists who know they are plenty of really dumb people who will give them money hand over foot becuase they can promise "salvation." Quite sad really.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Teaneck

      I totally agree, Mike. Thanks for spelling it out so succinctly.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Chr31

      Arent you an uneducated one..This group are not false prophets.They are telling people to simply read their bible and that seals have been opened to allow true understanding and meaning of the scriptures.If you actually read some of the information as to how the date was calculated,you might understand better.God is trying to warn his people by allowing man to decipher the hidden meanings of revelation.Do you not see what is happening in the world right now,or do you live under a rock like that guy on the Geico commercial????The signs are CLEAR AS DAY....

      March 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  13. CharlySheen

    The world will end when my life ends because the universe revolves around me.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Todd

      Classic!! Sad thing is, he is so far off the deep end, he might actually believe that!!

      March 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  14. Brian

    No, these guys and gals are spreading fear and propaganda wasting time and paper instead of adding to the economic recovery. Get a job.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Thomas

      Isn't that what the GOP has been doing for the past two years?

      March 8, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  15. PDXdeej

    When the "End Date" comes and goes, and they wake up on May 22, they'll make some excuse to justify their position...we miscalculated or some other nonsense......I'm astonished that anyone believes this at all. I feel really bad for their kids.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • CharlySheen

      It's like a lottery, when it really hits then he becomes the most powerful man in the world so why not put a lottery date?

      March 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • underdawg

      haha.. I feel VERY sorry for their kids.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  16. Get a Grip

    The end of the world as we know it will be Dec. 21, 2012. That is the end of the 25,000 year cycle and the alignment of the sun with the center of the galaxy. The world itself will not end, but the world as we know it.. Great and dramatic earth changes and elevation of human consciousness(for those prepared for it). I don't know what to expect, but hold on for a gloriously wild ride to a new state of being...

    March 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Sirena

      The center of the galaxy is a black hole...
      Thus the center of the galaxy is ever changing...

      March 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Lanfear

      December 21 2012... I'm in for one hell of a party. Been looking forward to that day since I was 8 years old. Honestly, I don't believe anything significant will happen to life on earth that day... and if something does, it won't be "because of 2012". I'm just excited that the world is supposed to end on my birthday.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Unbeliever

      I'll see you on December 22, 2012 and everything will be exactly the same.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  17. Bob, the agnostic

    This stuff is hilarious! The fact that people actually believe in these fairy tales is an indication of two things; 1) they need to get back on their medications, and 2) they need a new hobby while being on their medications.

    Well, I have to go make up some new tin foil hats because my buddy, Sasquatch, says the next wave of aliens is on the way. Coincidentally, they are scheduled to arrive on May 20.

    You all have a great day!

    Bob

    March 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  18. Lord X#sxders

    Sweet, my alien spaceship that will be taking me to the utherworld is picking me up May 20th. I am the lord X#sxders' humble servant summoning those to appear on the highest point of Antartica (the start of civilization when our ancestors crashed landed after Mars became unhospitable due to overpopulation and polution). Yay, we will board the uberbus to fly away in time to avoid the smiting of our treacherous enemy Hablebablylon. As far as what these nutjobs are talking about, it must be pure coincidence.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Thomas

      Darn that Hablebablylon!

      March 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  19. ryan

    That this gets any press is stupid and embarrassing. This group of morons is just like every other group of morons that came along thinking the world was going to end, I remember one that claimed the world was to end in 1997. These idiots will get all kinds of press to their stupidity, then the date will come and go, everyone will laugh at them, and we move on. Its getting less and less entertaining. Why must we shine so bright a light on the stupid ones, and completely ignore those who really are making the world a better place through science and reason?

    March 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  20. Laughin Jude

    "Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common." – clay tablet from Assyria, written c. 2800 BCE

    http://www.abhota.info/end1.htm for a list of previous failed apocalypse dates

    March 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • the end

      If the end were so easy, we'd be there by now. This story is more complicated than religion can account for.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.